OUR 1ST 6-WEEK FOSTER PLACEMENT
I was on a work trip in Dubai (yeah, it was awesome) when I woke up in the middle of the night to a text:
It was a little bit crazy as I was trying to coordinate everything while I was traveling to get a bed, car seat and clothes. When I landed back in Springfield, Frank came to pick me up with a beautiful young boy in the back seat. No time to recoup from jet lag, I was now a MOM!
I just want to make a HUGE SHOUT OUT to all our friends and family that came around us- we got numerous texts, calls, and messages asking if we needed anything. Every single thing we needed for him was provided for. We've been surrounded by this community of support, and it was AMAZING.
From the beginning, they told us that his case was being transferred to Arkansas (since that's where he's from). So day by day, we had no idea when we'd have to say goodbye. And that's hard, because at first it was only going to be a couple days - which turned into weeks - which turned into a month. You don't want to get too attached, yet I kept telling myself
IT'S NOT FOR ME, IT'S FOR HIM.
4 weeks in, I felt so exhausted and overwhelmed with emotion, I took some time to write out my feelings:
How do I navigate the sea of feelings? It wasn’t supposed to be this confusing- I knew it’d be hard, but I didn’t realize it’d be a tornado of emotions that contradict each other. I simultaneously feel in love with this child that’s not mine and broken hearted for the future when he’ll no longer be with me.
I hear people saying parenting is hard- I see the memes of the parents laughing at other couples without kids who say they’re tired. But in this foster world it’s so much more draining and exhausting - it’s a new level of exhausting. Even having the best day I feel overly drained and sad at the end of it—
I’m emotionally exhausted by the amount of hugs and kisses I’ve given, by the frustrations of the fits he threw and unreasonable reactions, by the hurt that I share when he tells me the abuse that happened to him repeatedly, by the thoughts of his case and the people working to get him removed from our home, by the fear of not knowing who he’ll end up with, and if he’ll be safe, by the confusion of wanting the best for him but feeling selfish and wanting him for myself.
Each new morning not knowing if it will be our last together, trying to hold it together and give it my all but afraid of not taking advantage of every second. It was supposed to only be a couple days, which turned into weeks, which now has been a month… but how will I know what day will be our last, and if we’ll ever see each other again?
Will I only remember the difficult times, or will I remember how often he would hug me and kiss me and tell me he loves me SOO much. He loved cuddling, and always asked how much I loved him, how much other people loved him.
But how can I complain, when I can’t even compare what I’m feeling to what this sweet boy is feeling? He’s been through some of the worst physical abuse imaginable by his own family, and not just once but repeatedly. Every day he has to deal with the trauma he went through, the fear that it could happen again. Every day he wonders if this new home is forever, or what will happen to him next.
I realize I have no power at all- all I have is my heart and my love that I can give him- and I pray God will give me enough strength and enough love so that I can keep pouring into him, as long as I possibly can. <3
Well friends, just a few days after I wrote that, we found out who would be taking him and when. And just a week ago today, we said goodbye to him.
I'm so thankful to say that he is in a LOVING & SAFE HOME! He went to live with a family member who cares for him deeply, and he's having the time of his life with them.
This has not been an easy journey [it's amazing how attached you can get in the span of a month] but it's been one of the most positive experiences we will probably every have in foster care.
HIS FUNNY/MEMORABLE MOMENTS:
- He loved giving me hugs and kisses and saying "I love you soooo much!"
- He loved bargaining, and would cock his head and ask for things in the most charming voice.
- He loved dancing! - (I also introduced him to "Despacito", and he'd sing it all the time. haha!)
- We caught him trying to pee in the small trash can in his bedroom multiple times.
- One night when I thought he'd finally fallen asleep, I went to check on him and found him putting an entire tube of vaseline on his face and hair. It took days to get out!
- One morning I got up and not finding him in his room I found him in the bathroom with my (brand new) makeup all over his face.
- He and Sam (our black lab) were best of friends. Sam followed him EVERYWHERE.
SO, WHAT'S NEXT?
For the next couple of months, we'll be taking a break. With my parents staying with us for a week, and then being gone another week for my brother's wedding, we figured it be easier to wait.
So the plan is to go back on the openings list in AUGUST. This time, we've widened our age range to 0-5 years of age.
We'll keep you updated! Thanks for your prayers and support!